A little defence of Wenger

Good morning…

Well I have begun writing this yesterday, well it’s today at the moment as I know it but when you read this tomorrow, or today as it is at the time of you reading this, today will be yesterday unless you are reading this at some whole other point in the future in which case I wouldn’t like to suggest what day it might be.. Make sense?

As that was an odd introduction we may as well continue with the Bizarre –

Sir Alex Ferguson came out yesterday in defence of Arsene Wenger. When discussing the recent criticism the Frenchman has faced he of the red hooter said:

“The work he has done in the 15 years he has been at the club is the best in Arsenal’s history,”

“Yes, he has not won a trophy for six years but what does that mean? The quality of his side has not been reduced. He still has great quality in his teams”

Now it isn’t often I find myself agreeing with the Scot but he is absolutely right, in the current circumstances it is easy to only see the negative but we can’t just dismiss all that has come before and in relation to the past Fergie also said:

“The competition is far greater now. When Arsenal and ourselves were going head-to-head, that went on for about eight years”

Again he is right, there are now more than two teams competing for the major honours we have to offer in this country. We haven’t slumped into the disgrace that is Scottish football as many predicted in fact it has gone completely the other way largely due to the amount of money that certain clubs have had to spend. Some of those clubs have found that money via wealthy benefactors & others have spent millions they just don’t have in the hope that it will generate success & maybe in some cases & in some form it has – look at Spurs they played in the Champions League last season after a period of heavy investment but it lasted but one solitary season. Old bollock face thinks the way to reverse things is to go on another massive spending spree, well look what that approach did to his last club Portsmouth. They spent way beyond their means & won the FA Cup & got into Europe now after almost going out of business they’re milling about in the Championship barely staying afloat.

‘arry saw the writing on the wall there & jumped ship to the next cash cow leaving him free to absolve himself of any part in Pompey’s downfall.

It might not always bring success in the form of big shiny trophies but the sustainability of the club and it’s ability to continue to challenge for honours without resorting to the bank account of the never never has to be respected doesn’t it?

I get as wound up as much as the next fan when Wenger says that fifteen years of Champions League football & top four finishes are as good as trophies because they aren’t but we’re not strutting about like Charlie Big Bollocks pretending to be a new footballing super power.

All managers, players & fans want to win trophies but the number of clubs vastly outweighs the number of trophies available each season and as Fergie says there is just so much more competition now days.

It is hard to fight Wenger’s corner, as I’m typing this I can already hear the voices shouting “We should be one of the clubs who win those trophies” – yes maybe we should but in recent times we haven’t been but that is not to say we won’t be again and whilst Wenger may not be the man who delivers that in the end you have to say that Ferguson is right again when he asks of his old adversary “Who is going to replace him?”

Just look at their faces... urgh

Talking of spending money (or not) there was also a story floated about yesterday morning that Arsenal had approached Bolton with a £6m bid (plus add on’s) for Gary Cahill.

This caused outrage across the footballing spectrum from Bolton fans to journalists to Arsenal fans and seemingly even the Wanderers Chairman & manager. Owen Coyle said that the offer had to be described as “Derisory” but he also said that he knew that as a third-party & that there had been no ‘official’ written offer from the Gunners.

Trotters Chairman used his Twitter account to re-tweet a fans outrage at the sum supposedly being discussed. That re-tweet was quickly removed once Wenger, during his pre match presser, suggested that £6m certainly wasn’t the figure mentioned & that he was willing to confront Gartside in order for the man who was once best mates with Fat Sam to prove any of this was true.

Of course this all meant that a number of journalists all got there knickers in a twist over Arsene suggesting he was going to “confront” Gartside & for not spending enough money or offering up enough for a player in the last year of his contract thus comparing that fact to the money we received for Samir Nasri & Gael Clichy blah blah etc…

The fact is Gary Cahill is not worth £17m especially as he is in the last twelve months of his contract & if we approached Bolton with a sum in or around that ball park they would undoubtedly ask for more. Why would we not go in with a lower offer to strategy things moving? In fact it was only a few days ago that Wenger was being lambasted for not making any kind of offer, he can’t do right for doing wrong at times.

Bolton need the money & we want the player, at the moment it’s all just a game of brinkmanship, all parties involved want the best deal they can get – why wouldn’t they?

I’ve a feeling that Cahill will be an Arsenal player come the close of the transfer window but I could be wrong. But Bolton clearly want to sell & are trying to squeeze all they can out of a potential buyer – they’ve been coming out almost weekly during the summer saying how they’ve had no bids in order to garner interest & why come out & make details of discussions known now? Attempts at price hiking? Fair play to them but they’re not in as strong a position as they think they are & they’re most certainly in no position to be making attempts to take the moral high ground.

In fact as Wenger suggested we may not complete any signings & he is right we might not but that isn’t to say (as some take great delight in doing) that the club are not trying to get players in, it’s just that there is no guarantee. We can only sign players if their clubs agree to let them go and that depends on us meeting the selling clubs valuation of the player which could be a million miles away from our own. A player, for the most part, is surely only worth what someone will pay for him? We shouldn’t have to over pay because we are Arsenal & we’ll be torn apart if we don’t spend every last penny the Emirates money vaults might hold. Should we?

Well now it’s Saturday morning & I’ve woken up in Bristol (140 miles from home)

To the vest of my knowledge we’ve still not signed anyone and rumours are circulating that we’re moving away from a bid from Cahill but could be going after Arteta & Fellanini at Everton. Two players I wouldn’t mind seeing at the Arsenal. Centre half, centre forward and a left back still as equally required & time is running out.

What we do know is that even if anyone were to sign today they can’t play at Old Trafford tomorrow but the good news is that Kozzer & TV look set to return – a solid back line is imperative against the champions. Hopefully Gibbs can return at left back and Sagna can switch back to the right.

But I’ll look at all of that far more comprehensively tomorrow morning (bright and early not the mud morning hour I’m posting this!)

One other interesting bit of news is that it is reported that Sol Campbell has been offered a coaching role in the clubs youth set up. That would surely be a fantastic appointment – I know the big man may have started his career down the road but he is to my mind an Arsenal man. Can’t see Ade emulating big Sol in a role reversal can you?

Right sorry about the somewhat random nature if this post – I must stop waking up in far away towns on Saturday mornings!

Thanks for reading

Paul

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